An article in The Guardian reported the growing trend of China copying Western architecture on a grand scale. I’m a fashion designer and I am miffed if people copy my designs so I can only imagine what some of the world’s most talented architects think of their designs being copied. Fashions go in or out, however, buildings can last for hundreds of years.
What is China’s reasoning? Some of the understandable accusations against the Chinese are that they are being cheap, they lack imagination, they are showing their growing economic influence as was customary in the days of Chinese Dynasties. I think it is probably a combination of all of the above.
China generally does not value intellectual property rights and the courts favour locals over wealthy foreigners that come in to sue and buildings are rarely pulled down even if an architect does win.
An Austrian village was copied in its entirety right down to statues and steeples. The audacity of the project can only be admired. Whilst the residents of the original village in Austria were initially outraged the mayor was delighted and signed up to a cultural exchange. Tourist numbers went up from 50 to 1000 per year.
I have a rather over-active imagination and I wonder if the Chinese have watched too many Star Trek movies. There is a Star Trek movie in which an entire village on a planet is replicated and the baddies had planned to transport the entire village and it’s residents during the night to the holographic replication so they could mine natural resources in the original village. I have a friend that has family in an Austrian mountain village and the residents never ever venture out, would they notice if one fine day they woke up in China??
I haven’t labelled the images above…which one is which?!